The day marked the recognition of an independent and sovereign Bangladesh by India

The Indian High Commission in Bangladesh on Monday celebrated the first India-Bangladesh ‘Moitree Dibosh’.

The day marked the recognition of an independent and sovereign Bangladesh,
by India and Bhutan, 50 years ago – 10 days before Bangladesh was actually liberated.

In Dhaka, a reception and musical evening were hosted by High Commission of India at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

“Our celebrations mark this important day – Maitree Diwas – when India and Bhutan became the first countries to recognize an independent Bangladesh. These Maitree Dibosh celebrations are being conducted in 18 major cities across the world, apart from Delhi and Dhaka,” said Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami.

“Neither of our countries has ever attempted to mark any such milestone jointly with any other country on a scale as large as this. Despite the continuing challenges of the COVID pandemic, India’s leadership under PM Modi has accorded the highest priority to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Bangladesh,” he stated.

This is reflected in the decision of Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to mark December 6 henceforth as Maitree Dibosh. The decision was taken by the two leaders during the State Visit of PM Modi to Bangladesh in March this year, Doraiswami added.

Noting that the Liberation of Bangladesh not only changed the political map of South-Asia, he said, it also changed our ideological map: your freedom proved beyond doubt that the common bonds of culture, civilization, and language transcend the false theory that different religious groups cannot live together.

"Your Liberation struggle also emphasized the inevitability of the victory of truth and justice over brutality and oppression," the Indian envoy to Bangladesh mentioned.

The War of Liberation and our close alliance and partnership in freeing Bangladesh from Pakistani oppression had many components that secured the victory of December 16, he said.

These included the coordination of diplomatic and geopolitical strategies; management of domestic social stability in areas where traumatized Bangladeshi citizens took refuge; management of relief operations, and of course, tactical and strategic military cooperation, Doraiswami noted.

“In the next 50 years, we will have much to do to build on the foundation of our friendship and our history together. We have made important achievements especially in the last decade,” he argued.

“Today, our countries are the closest partners in the political, diplomatic, commercial, economic, developmental, cultural, security, and even people-to-people fronts. We must now ensure that future generations understand this history. Because it is the youth of today who will make this partnership irreversible,” the Indian High Commissioner pointed out.

Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary graced the occasion as Chief Guest; with senior representatives from the Government of Bangladesh including Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, the Chief of the Army Staff, Secretaries to the Government, senior officials, IGP of Police, leaders of business and industry, media, academia and civil society present.

Bangladeshi nationals selected for India’s highest civilian honours, in the years 2020 and 2021, were specially invited and felicitated in presence of the august gathering.

The celebrations culminated in a grand cultural performance by Gaan Bangla, under direction of Kaushik Hossain Taposh, Managing Director and CEO, a press statement by the Indian High Commission informed.

As many as 50 eminent artists, including from India and Bangladesh performed on this occasion, it noted.

A video, produced by the Government of Bangladesh to showcase the history of the bilateral relationship from the 1971 Liberation War to the present-day Shonali Adhyay, was also screened in Dhaka and at all other Moitree Dibosh events worldwide.

A crowdsourced logo and backdrop for the event, jointly selected by both countries through an open competition, was displayed in Dhaka as well as across the world.